Friday, October 28, 2011


Here's one of those fashion moments that I can't let pass without a little racial commentary. Fashion has always had a somewhat tenuous relationship with people of color. Women of color are seen as exotic oddities (or overlooked), our icons are seen as commodities and our culture is often ripped apart in the name of fashion. With all that, it's little wonder that I cringed a bit when seeing the news of Billabong's new Bob Marley collection (I'm not even going to comment on the "Rasta Monsta" title of NYLON's article about it).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Retail Therapy

Sometimes when I'm strapped for cash I feel this fatalistic need to purchase clothes. I call it The Becky Bloomwood Syndrome. The great thing about those Shopaholic books is that you can scoff and say "That'll never be me". The bad thing is it always seems to work out for Becky and it's hard to remind yourself that not everyone has a Luke Brandon to save them.

On top of that I subscribe to A LOT of online discount shopping sites. I use Rue La La, ideeli, Daily Candy, Revolve Clothing ... and now most recently StyleMint. StyleMint is in the vein of ShoeDazzle in that it is a clothing subscription where items are curated by your personal style and then you have the option to buy or not buy an exclusive item that month. If you don't tell them that you won't be purchasing something that month, you are billed  and you can earn credits towards future purchases. The concept is simple and alluring. You can buy or not buy. The items are exclusive. For a low cost you can by something new each month. It's pretty tempting. And given my current personal drama, the thought of flitting my cares away with a quick purchase is enticing. It's appealing because the risk seems low at the time (this is the justification phase of The Becky Bloomwood Syndrome). But later, after you've placed the order, the doubt begins to creep in. I could've have bought groceries with that money! I was supposed to take my friend out for her birthday! My mom asked me to buy a ticket to her charity event! And now you can't afford it.

So what do I do? Indulge in some retail therapy*? Toss my cares aside and deal with the guilt (and eat a shit-ton of ramen). The jury's still out.

*I wonder how much regular therapy costs. 

The Roaring Tiffany's

Great news! Tiffany & Co. is teaming up with the producers of the new Great Gatsby film to be the exclusive jeweler for the production. Can't you just picture the decadence. The great thing about any movie set during the 20's is the romanticism of that time. Tiffany's through their intense marketing has made themselves synonymous with romance and falling in love so who better to exemplify one of the greatest tragic romances of all time than Tiffany's. It's gorgeous glamour with a trace of ennui.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Le Train Bleu & Honey Kennedy

Honey Kennedy is the blog I would have if I actually updated this blog all the time. Le Train Bleu is the site that I most often peruse when I dare to open up the piggy bank and splurge on myself. So it's auspicious that they are working together to giveaway a $100 gift certificate. Seeing as how we're (always) working with a budget, here are my suggestions:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Michelle Williams Tackles Marilyn Monroe

Michelle Williams is taking on a role most women in Hollywood will kill for (and some have decided to play out in real life) as Marilyn Monroe in the film My Week with Marilyn. The film focuses on Colin Clark, who during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl escorted Monroe around Britain. The film stars the delectable Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark and a post-Harry Potter Emma Watson who looks right at home in the 50's fashions. But it's Michelle Williams who really seems to embody the coquettish style of her character as well as filling out some of those famous outfits.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You Know You Love Me ... xoxo

The Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2012 show debuted in Paris this week (thank god for the internet because unfortunately my invitation got lost in the mail. What's up with that Marc?). While the overall show was impressive featuring a carousel, frothy white garments and tiaras, the show seemed very season one of Gossip Girl to me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kan-"Yeezy" Goes to Paris

This weekend Kanye West debuted his fashion line in Paris and the interwebs went crazy (I guess I can include myself in that now). West has been both panned and praised, with stars like Ciara calling his show "monumental" and fashion insiders using air quotes at his "designer" status while others were a bit more even-handed. Personally, I viewed Kanye's debut like a Project Runway fashion show. The ideas were innovative and fashion forward, while the execution left something to be desired.

Friday, August 19, 2011

L'Enfant Terrible

It's easy to see why Jean-Paul Gaultier was dubbed l'enfant terrible by the fashion world. His sense of fashion is simultaneously twisted and childishly whimsical. Walking through the designers fashions is like taking a trip through his mind. And the trip is delightfully imaginative.

The exhibit started out with a welcome from the designer as well as a display of Gaultier's Virgins collection. A subversion of classic religious images of the Virgin Mary, the collection is both sacrilegious and a genuflection to the womanly wiles of Mary. In short, awesome. It's hard to imagine wearing these garments outside of a theatrical context but each piece is a clear statement.

A Tale of Two Exhibits

During my travels, I was lucky enough to end up near two major fashion exhibits. The first was the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal and the second was the Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Met in New York. Both were incredible representations of the fashion designers' art and my hat off to the curators of the exhibits. Each created a world and incredible back drop to take in the artist's work. But the feel of each was very different and I think a lot of that had to do with the museums themselves.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dare to Not Be Afraid

Recently, I've been traveling and it has helped me to learn something about myself. Somewhere along the way, I've become afraid of my body.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my body and I honestly have no shame about it, but I've become afraid to dress my body the way I used to. In the past year, my body has seen some changes. My breasts have gotten bigger and my thighs fuller. My waistline has stayed pretty consistent but that pouch that developed after eating takes a little longer to go away than it used to. What these changes have meant is that my clothes don't fit me the way they used to. Shirts are tighter in the chest and a lot of my dresses don't fit. Also my style has changed somewhat. I do prefer more simple and basic things and now when I buy clothes, I lean towards things like slouchy cardigans and soft, cotton t-shirts. But what this has resulted in is a lack of sexy in my closet.

While traveling in Montreal, I had a desire to check out the nightlife and what I immediately noticed was the proliferation of '06 dresses ™. An '06 dress (a phrase that was coined during my Class of '01 reunion in reference to the slightly younger class of '06) is one that is overly tight, overly short and/or low-cut and is accompanied by stilettos. I would never hate on an '06 dress because I've worn a few in my day, but the overwhelming amount of them created an anxiety I've never experienced before. And given that the club scene is 18+ in Montreal, I found I was comparing myself to girls nearly a decade younger than me. When did I become a Cathy comic strip?

What it really comes down to is fit and wearability. The reason those '06 dresses intimidated me is because my closet is full of clothes that don't fit correctly and/or make me uncomfortable. And when traveling in this day and age, packing a carry-on suitcase for two weeks that can range from Comic-Con to brunch dates to sight-seeing left me with very little options club wise. So the next step is to make some real changes in my wardrobe. Not just giving lip service to the term spring cleaning but actually doing it. If it doesn't fit right, it has to go. The next is working out, my way. I like to do activities but I've let work and apathy get in the way. Using my body, makes me confident in my skin no matter what I'm wearing. Finally, in the immortal words of Justin Timberlake "I'm bringing sexy back". It's time to add some spice back to my wardrobe. Maybe then I can copyright the phrase '01 dresses.